Oh zucchini! “A joy in July or a joke in September!”
Truth is, what would summer be without zucchini and tomatoes fresh from the garden? Zucchini simply capture the green colors and flavors of summer. When fried alone, or stuffed and fried, they are marvelous as appetizers or for a mid-morning treat! A platter of fried or baked stuffed zucchini/squash blossoms is an everyday delight on Italian tables.
And with zucchini comes those beautiful buttery, yellow, golden blossoms that attract bees humming in bliss while stuffing themselves with pollen that blesses them from the interiors of each blossom! Perfect to use in this recipe for Stuffed Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil Pesto !
To prepare garden-fresh zucchini/squash blossoms in a delicate veil of crispy batter is comparable to nothing on earth.
Here’s the link to my original post to learn about the very first method of using zucchini/pumpkin/squash blossoms . . . . frying them only. It is known in Italy has ‘pastella’, frying in a light ‘tempura-like’ batter that ends up in crispy, non-greasy fritters:
Here is a photo-step-by-step tutorial on preparing Stuffed Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil Pesto:
href=”https://www.italianbellavita.com/2011/08/fresh-basil-pesto/” target=”_blank”>link for “Fresh Basil Pesto”.
this is not a heavy batter, it is more like a Japanese tempura, very light
.Enjoy these Stuffed Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil Pesto !
For the stuffing:
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil for sautéing
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small to medium sweet (Vidalia) onion, minced
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup prosciutto, chopped
- 1 tsp. garden-fresh oregano, minced
- 1 tsp. garden-fresh thyme, minced
- 2 tsp. garden-fresh basil, freshly minced, or 1 tsp. dried basil
- 2 Tbsp. garden-fresh Italian parsley, minced
- 1/2 pound ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or Asiago)
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
- anchovies (optional: 1 per blossom)
- 1/2 pound garden-fresh spinach, washed, stems removed, finely chopped (optional - if you want spinach, add to the original sauté mixture and cook it down until all liquid is involved)
- 15 - 30 zucchini/squash blossoms, freshly picked, rinsed in cold water, stamens and stems removed
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup flourNote: Some cooks add an egg yolk as well as some baking soda/powder. I think that this is a good idea and will make your batter a little thicker if you like.
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, minced 4 large garden-fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped 1 cup dry white wine (optional) 1 Tbsp. tomato paste 1/2 tsp. sugar 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)Pesto:
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 large garden-fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
For the filling:
- In a large heavy pan, sauté' the onion and garlic in olive oil until softened.
- Add prosciutto and all of the herbs.
- Remove from stove and add this to all of the cheeses.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut off stems and any green end of the blossoms.
- Cut a slit through in between two blossom petals and open up each blossom to lay them flat on a platter or piece of parchment paper.
- Remove the stamen.
- Place a spoonful of filling in each blossom.
- Roll up each stuffed blossom and press edges together.
- Be careful not to let any filling ooze out of the blossoms.
- May be refrigerated at this point for one day or fried right away.
For the Batter:
- Put one (1) cup of water in a wide soup bowl.
- Gradually add the flour through a sifter and CONSTANTLY beat the mixture with a fork until all the flour is added. The batter will have a consistency of sour cream.
For the tomato sauce:
- Saute onion in olive oil.
- Add tomatoes, wine and tomato paste.
- Cook uncovered, for about 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing mixture to cook until reduced and slightly thickened.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix together all ingredients.